Is that a blast from Spain’s monetary past or a taste of the future after the failure of the euro? One small town in rural Spain has reintroduced the peseta. This sleepy little town seems an unlikely place, the home of Don Quixote, seems an unlikely place for a monetary revolution.
The head of the local business association explained that many of the local residents still had pesetas tucked away at home and local merchants are persuading them to spend this almost forgotten currency. The citizens of Villamayor have been most cooperative in this little venture. In the 10 years after the peseta was replaced by the euro forced into use by the European Union, village shopkeepers have taken in more than one million of the pesetas.
According to the local business association, most of the money has been spent in small amounts, but there are rumors that someone spent about 80,000 pesetas recently. The idea of encouraging area residents to use the local currency in place of the euro was copied from the northern town of Salvaterra.
Local merchants have had shoppers come into town from other areas, and when learning that the peseta was being used in place of the euro, would leave the shops smiling. Local government officials have also stated that using the saved money has helped the town cope with recession as nearly a quarter of its 3000 inhabitants are unemployed.
When asked if the merchants of Villa mayor would welcome the return of the euro, the reply was given. Probably not, as we prefer to stick together and keep using the peseta.